Ten out of 10
Last updated: March 19, 2022
|Services||Website Builder & eCommerce|
|Best for||A Simple Website Builder|
|Strengths||GoDaddy’s Other Services|
|Weaknesses||There are limited design options|
|Promotion||Get started for free|
GoDaddy is a well-known brand in the web services industry. They are the most popular choice for domains and hosting, website builders, productivity products, and advertising for small businesses, from TV commercials to online advertising to Super Bowl ads.
Although I have previously written and reviewed GoDaddy’s web hosting, I have never seen GoDaddy’s website building product (“Websites + Marketing”) before writing this article.
GoDaddy’s website builders were a part of my first web design business many years ago. I did not use GoDaddy’s website builders for my projects until I was asked by a client to do a few tasks.
New competition has appeared from Wix and Squarespace, Weebly as well as Gator Website Builder, WordPress.com, WordPress.com, and other website builders. GoDaddy also upgraded the website creator product I used. It’s now simpler and easier to use to create a website.
For a personal project, I decided to test it again to see if the product was a good fit.
I wanted to also compare GoDaddy’s website builders to other solutions such as hosting your own website, or using a hosted eCommerce platform.
GoDaddy Website Builder Prices
GoDaddy Website plans come in five tiers, including a free one.
|Domain Name Design|
|No cost domain name||–||–||–||–|
Get started with GoDaddy for Free
No Cost Plan
Anyone can sign up for a GoDaddy Website Builder plan at no cost. The website builder tool is available to you, including a GoDaddy template and SSL certificate. There are also a few marketing tools that can be used, as well as a bundle hosting plan.
The main limitations are:
- You don’t have unlimited storage nor ecommerce tools
- you are limited to a GoDaddy subdomain in the form of: username.godaddysites.com
GoDaddy’s Basic Plan, their most affordable premium plan, is available. This plan allows you to edit your GoDaddy app and connect a custom domain after domain registration. Hosting is included. However, eCommerce tools and all marketing features are excluded. It is intended for personal websites or “brochure business” websites.
GoDaddy’s Standard Plan expands the number of digital marketing tools available to customers, including the SEO Wizard.
GoDaddy’s Premium plan increases the number of marketing tools available. You can also use the appointment function.
GoDaddy’s eCommerce plan adds a range of tools to make it easy for you to use the site builder and create an eCommerce solution.
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The pros of the GoDaddy Website Builder
Although I have written an extensive explanation on website builders, a website builder simply allows you to combine a few elements necessary for a website.
- Domain Name – This is your website’s address.
- Website Hosting – This is where your website files are “live”.
- Website software – allows you to create and make changes to your website, without needing HTML/CSS knowledge or an FTP connection.
All these ingredients are combined into one product. This makes things easier but also limits what you can do. GoDaddy’s website builder can be used as a hosted site builder. This will give it some advantages.
The GoDaddy website builder has four strong benefits or pros that stand out.
Easy Use & Onboarding
The most important question in any new technology is “What do you do next?”
This is how a company, or product, answers this question. It is how they convert a new customer into an active, happy customer.
GoDaddy’s website builder is excellent at onboarding and ease of use.
Signing up is like having every question answered. You’re also guided through the setup exactly how you want.
You can stay on the same screen all the time and have quick access to customer support & help guides.
They certainly live up to their slogan, “The easiest way to get online”,
GoDaddy lets you choose your niche, in addition to categorizing customers. They don’t choose a standard design for you. They can match stock photography or other elements to create a website that is more tailored to your needs.
You will find simple options and form fields to assist you in getting started.
You can create a website with just a few clicks that is on your domain.
It’s as simple as signing up on Facebook or Pinterest. For someone who believes in the importance of owning a website, I am all for it.
Design & Editing
The GoDaddy website builder lets you choose from a selection of templates that include pre-filled photos and design elements, as I mentioned in Onboarding.
You also have the option to edit and change your GoDaddy theme.
Although the editor doesn’t have drag-and-drop functionality, it does offer some basic customization options.
It’s like painting with numbers.
Although there are obvious drawbacks to this arrangement, I will address them in the disadvantages. However, it is an advantage to have limited, but easily accessible design options.
Mobile-friendly site layout. It looks great no matter how many design options you choose.
GoDaddy is both the largest domain registrar as well as a large web host. They also offer other services, such as email and productivity tools.
Even if a company doesn’t have a website, it has probably purchased something from GoDaddy.
This makes product integration with GoDaddy’s products very practical.
You don’t need to worry about setting up your website with GoDaddy site builders.
You can select your domain from the GoDaddy website builder menu to go live on it if it is registered with GoDaddy.
It is simple, straightforward, and convenient.
GoDaddy Customer Support
In my GoDaddy reviews (a comparison with InMotion Hosting and a comparison of Namecheap), I didn’t have much praise for their customer service.
But, it is important that the customer service team can help you resolve any problem.
GoDaddy website builder runs on proprietary software and their support team is able to resolve any issue with the product.
They have full control of the website builder product, unlike hosting or domains where you are responsible for communicating with the GoDaddy support team.
GoDaddy’s support system is still not perfect. For example, they do not invest in their products or integrate upsells. If you have a website built by GoDaddy, the support team will be more able to resolve the issue than a self-hosted website, where you are responsible for the troubleshooting.
Cons of the GoDaddy Website Builder
GoDaddy is a hosted website builder and has its own disadvantages. These disadvantages are shared with direct competitors like Wix or Weebly. Most features are limited to ensure maximum convenience. Access to files stored on your server is not available. There are also no control and convenience trade-offs.
These disadvantages will be covered as a whole in the next Alternatives section.
These are not the only limitations of GoDaddy’s website builder. Here are some disadvantages I found.
Prices & Costs
It is difficult to compare costs in the web services industry, but it is especially hard for website builders. Customers can compare costs “apples to apples” with the best website builders by separating core and bonus features. Website builders don’t allow you to compare pricing of competitors.
GoDaddy’s website builders start at $10/mo, and can go up to $20/mo. Prices go up to $25/mo if you add eCommerce.
GoDaddy pricing seems to be in line with its direct competitors. Their personal plan is slightly less expensive than Wix’s, Squarespace’s or Weebly’s.
Based on your preference for SSL or social media integration, the Business and Business Plus are at the right tier. Their eCommerce is in line with other online shop builders.
My problem is not with what they highlight but with the features they ignore because they are not part of the software.
These will be covered in the next section. However, they are a “good price for what you pay” – GoDaddy can be expensive. They sell a few “features”, but they aren’t actually real features like Search Engine Optimization, PayPal Integration, and Social Media Integration. These are not features that are part of any website you have that is public-facing.
GoDaddy pricing works like a car company. They base their pricing on “steering wheels can turn”, “windshield wipers can be replaced” as well as “will go faster that 25 mph.”
This is not to say that GoDaddy should be criticized. They sell convenience, not features.
If you want to compare their pricing with other competitors, I recommend only looking at their Standard plan (at $15/mo) or their eCommerce plan (at $25/mo). They are usually more expensive than their direct competitors in this industry.
However, the discussion on features continues to be a problem with two other points.
Limited Feature Set – Design
There is always a compromise between convenience and control when using technology products.
This trade-off is evident with the GoDaddy site builder product. Their design layout is very easy. It is simple, quick, and not complicated. It’s easy to get web pages created and a professional-looking website up and running in no time.
GoDaddy’s website builder is not able to do much beyond basic design.
You can change the theme color, font and overall feel of the design.
You can delete or add sections to pages but cannot move them where you want.
The layout cannot be changed. Drag and drop is not an option. You cannot drag and drop HTML or CSS.
It is almost impossible to modify the menu without modifying other elements of the website.
It can be described as a “paint-by numbers” setup. You can have the basics but you will need to add or expand on them.
The design limitations of websites that are growing or becoming more important to your business can be disastrous.
This is in contrast to other website builders who attempt to fix this problem through extensions or apps or access to the HTML code, but there is no way to get a GoDaddy website building website.
Technical – Limited Features Set
Design limitations can also be reflected in technical limitations.
Technical limitations are features you don’t want until they’re actually needed. Then you realize you don’t want them.
These include integrations with Facebook and Pinterest, Twitter, Google Ads. Social sharing options, blogging, as well as a host of other 3rd-party marketing tools. GoDaddy has admitted that they have now added the ability for limited connection to Facebook, Google Display and Google Analytics. However, it is still less than other website builders.
You can find many technical features like this. There are features that should be available, but they have a peculiarity that renders them useless.
This is too many cons to list here. It’s like the difference in making your own food versus ordering from a restaurant.
GoDaddy’s website builder allows you to choose the ingredients for your burrito. However, your choices are limited by what is available at the restaurant.
If you only need something basic, it can work well. It can be very restrictive if you need to make changes or create something new or unique.
Simplifying too much
While it is one thing to limit technical features in order to prioritize convenience, that priority must be communicated clearly to the customer.
GoDaddy doesn’t do that, I think they offer complementary products and wizards to help solve these limitations without teaching their customers. It makes website building very simple.
This applies to all features, from design to social media to content. It’s especially evident in the world of SEO.
GoDaddy offers an SEO service in conjunction with their website builder service.
SEO services make a lot of promises, but it feels easy and straight-forward. This misleads customers into believing they are successful without any education or background.
SEO is easy, but it requires some knowledge. If not, most people will take a wrong path and end up doing things that are detrimental to their long-term health.
My entire career has been in SEO. I have spent most my time teaching and writing about SEO.
These misconceptions are often attributed to services such as GoDaddy. GoDaddy doesn’t intend to mislead anyone. It’s just an effect of simplifying a concept that requires explanation and work.
Customers who want their website to serve as a marketing tool or sales brochure, the GoDaddy website builder product is not for them.
Future & Growth
GoDaddy is a hosted product that encapsulates all of your data.
Even if you’re just using GoDaddy website builders to get started, and you plan to build a longer-term website solution for your business, all of your website data will be tied up with GoDaddy. You cannot export it the same way as data on your server.
When you are choosing between control and convenience, this factor must be considered.